Location (geography)
The terms location and place in geography
Geography is the science that studies the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of Earth. A literal translation would be "to describe or write about the Earth". The first person to use the word "geography" was Eratosthenes...

 are used to identify a point or an area on the Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

's surface or elsewhere. The term 'location' generally implies a higher degree of can certainty than "place" which often has an ambiguous boundary relying more on human/social attributes of place identity
Place identity
Place identity refers to a cluster of ideas about place and identity in the fields of geography, urban planning, urban design, landscape architecture, environmental psychology, and urban sociology/ecological sociology. It concerns the meaning and significance of places for their inhabitants and users...

 and sense of place
Sense of place
The term sense of place has been defined and used in many different ways by many different people. To some, it is a characteristic that some geographic places have and some do not, while to others it is a feeling or perception held by people...

 than on geometry
Geometry arose as the field of knowledge dealing with spatial relationships. Geometry was one of the two fields of pre-modern mathematics, the other being the study of numbers ....


Types of location/place

  • An absolute location
    Absolute location
    Absolute location describing the position of an object or place, on the surface of the Earth.- Example :An example would be the longitude and latitude of a place. For instance, the position of Lake Michigan, USA, can be expressed approximately in the WGS84 coordinate system as the location 10.65°N...

     is designated using a specific pairing of latitude
    In geography, the latitude of a location on the Earth is the angular distance of that location south or north of the Equator. The latitude is an angle, and is usually measured in degrees . The equator has a latitude of 0°, the North pole has a latitude of 90° north , and the South pole has a...

     and longitude
    Longitude is a geographic coordinate that specifies the east-west position of a point on the Earth's surface. It is an angular measurement, usually expressed in degrees, minutes and seconds, and denoted by the Greek letter lambda ....

    , a Cartesian coordinate
    Cartesian coordinate system
    A Cartesian coordinate system specifies each point uniquely in a plane by a pair of numerical coordinates, which are the signed distances from the point to two fixed perpendicular directed lines, measured in the same unit of length...

     grid (e.g.,a Spherical coordinate system
    Spherical coordinate system
    In mathematics, a spherical coordinate system is a coordinate system for three-dimensional space where the position of a point is specified by three numbers: the radial distance of that point from a fixed origin, its inclination angle measured from a fixed zenith direction, and the azimuth angle of...

    ), an ellipsoid-based system (e.g., World Geodetic System
    World Geodetic System
    The World Geodetic System is a standard for use in cartography, geodesy, and navigation. It comprises a standard coordinate frame for the Earth, a standard spheroidal reference surface for raw altitude data, and a gravitational equipotential surface that defines the nominal sea level.The latest...

    ), or similar methods.
  • A relative location is described as a displacement from another site, i.e. "3 miles northwest of Seattle".
  • A place, such as a settlement
    Settlement may refer to:*Consolidation , a process by which soils decrease in volume*Human settlement, a community where people live**Israeli settlement, communities inhabited by Israeli Jews in territory that came under Israel's control as a result of the 1967 Six-Day War**Urban settlement **Rural...

     or suburb
    The word suburb mostly refers to a residential area, either existing as part of a city or as a separate residential community within commuting distance of a city . Some suburbs have a degree of administrative autonomy, and most have lower population density than inner city neighborhoods...

     is likely to have a well-defined name but have a boundary which is less well defined and which varies by context. London
    London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

     has an legal boundary, but this is unlikely to completely match with general usage. Areas within a town, such as Covent Garden
    Covent Garden
    Covent Garden is a district in London on the eastern fringes of the West End, between St. Martin's Lane and Drury Lane. It is associated with the former fruit and vegetable market in the central square, now a popular shopping and tourist site, and the Royal Opera House, which is also known as...

    in London again has some ambiguity as to its extent.
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